Who's legally responsible for junked vehicles?

·2 min read

Jul. 17—Question: I junked two vehicles about 30 days ago and have only received one "junk certificate" in the mail. I contacted the DVS with the VIN number in question and they have no record of the vehicle being junked and told me to contact the repair shop. I contacted the repair shop that I mailed the signed title to and they said they have taken care of it.

I do not want to get into a sort of legal trouble with this and am wondering what other actions if any I should take to ensure the vehicle was actually scrapped or if once I signed and mailed the title to them I have no more legal responsibility for the vehicle?

Answer: If you sold your vehicle to a licensed motor vehicle dealer, you don't have to do anything. There are many different types of Minnesota licensed dealers. For example: new, used, scrap metal, wholesaler, broker, lessor, auction, salvage pool and used parts. If a vehicle is sold to a private individual or any non-licensed entity, you would be required to fill out a "notice of sale" within 10 days of the sale date.

The bottom of the title contains the "notice of sale". It can either be filled out and mailed to Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services or be completed online. https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/Pages/dvs-content-detail.aspx?pageID=642.

It is common that a dealer may hold two different licenses. For example: a used and scrap metal dealer license. In this case, the dealer may buy vehicles that people are junking out. If the dealer junks the vehicle out, they have reporting requirements, which includes notifying the state of Minnesota the vehicle is "junked." If the dealer decides the vehicle is worth fixing instead of junking, they would then report to the state that the vehicle is "held for resale" and later resold.

To answer your question about your other specific vehicle, it is currently "held for resale." This means a licensed used dealership owns it and plans on reselling the vehicle. Being that a dealership held it for resale, you should not have to do anything.

Any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trooper Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th St., NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or send an email to: Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.

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